Russell Modlin is married to Belinda, they have three young boys, and earlier this year relocated to the Sunshine Coast after four years of missionary service with an Aboriginal High School Training College in Alice Springs.
Trained as a school teacher in Brisbane, he taught at the Mackay Christian College in the '90s where he met Belinda and married and in the mid 2000s engaged a change to Brisbane from where they made a commitment to Alice Springs.
It was at the Mackay Christian College that I first came in contact with Russell Modlin as on several occasions we conducted Country Town Tours (CTT) with elite athletes as role models. Russell was part of the team that planned other school visits, sport outreach dinners and men's breakfasts.
Channel 7 News on one CTT ran a significant news segment where CTT team member World No 2 Super IronMan Bruce Thomas was interviewed along with myself as the Australian cricket team chaplain. Part of the segment showed the school captains receiving my book for their library: "No Orchestra, No Trumpet".
When Well-Being Australia's young writer's project was being developed under the Press Service International banner, Russell and Belinda Modlin were in Alice Springs and Russell gladly came on board.
We were looking for young people from across the nation and Russell Modlin living in Alice Springs provided the additional geographical central Australia aspect.
Russell Modlin is one of the original young writers and has given Christian Today readers a fascinating look at central Australia and about his ministry, and in more recent months his own journey relocating to the Sunshine Coast without a job and meeting his family's needs and how the Lord answered those prayers.
When a vacancy became available on the Well-Being Australia national board consideration was given to one of the young writers, particularly with the recent international expansion of PSI to New Zealand young writers.
Mr Basil Sellers AM who has financially supported many of the Well-Being Australia projects has impressed upon me the need for developing a long term succession program for each of the various ministries that make up WBA.
To fill the vacant position therefore it was thought provident to look to the PSI young writers taking into account Christian service, experience and family. There could have been any number of very suitable young writers however the Country Town Tour connection proved telling.
Vic Matthews the Well-Being Australia board secretary coined the phrase Country Town Tours for this vital rural and regional aspect of the WBA ministry portfolios.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html